Al-Ghazali The Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidaya)


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  • Author: Al-Ghazali
  • ISBN: 9781933764061

Al-Ghazali The Beginning of Guidance (Bidayatul-Hidaya). White Thread Press. ISBN: 9781933764061

Translated by Mashhad Al-Allaf, Revised and Edited by Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf

Imam Ghazali's Bidayat al-Hidaya is a highly motivational manual detailing the fundamentals of acquiring guidance through God-consciousness (taqwa). Imam Ghazali argues that just as there is an end to this noble objective there is also a beginning to it, which must be made firm for one to achieve success. He then goes on to expound the fundamentals of this "beginning." While being concise and to-the-point the manual is laid out in the form of a detailed daily timetable providing the reader strong inspiration and much heart-rending counsel. The three sections of this book are on obedience, refraining from disobedience, and the etiquette of companionship with the Creator and with creation. One of Imam Ghazali's final works, it embodies a lifetime of learning, experience, and spirituality and can be taken as an introduction to his larger works.
This translation published for the first time with facing Arabic text also includes many notes and transliteration for the supplications contained within.

"An excellent translation of an important book on the fundamentals of Muslim piety and etiquette. With an accessible English translation alongside the original Arabic text, this introductory work will be useful for readers interested in exploring the realities of Islamic piety, students of Arabic and educators alike."
jonathan ac brown University of Washington

"This welcomed translation provides Ghazali's manual The Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidaya) to serious students, seekers, and scholars and combines contemporary fluency with respect for sacred Islamic tradition."
Marcia Hermansen Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Mashhad Al-Allaf holds a doctoral degree in Modern Philosophy: Science & Metaphysics (1995). His bachelor's and master's degrees concentrated on the Philosophy of Science. He has taught at Washington University, St. Louis University,
and Webster University and is the author of several works, including The Basic Ideas and Institutions of Islam (2008), Locke's Philosophy of Science and Metaphysics (2007), and The Essential Ideas of Islamic Philosophy (2006). He is the co-author of the forthcoming Islamic Philosophy of Science and Logic (University of Pittsburgh). His current research focuses on integrative studies and multiculturalism, as well as Engineering Ethics, Biomedical Ethics, Love and Romance in Islam, and Islamic Theory of Science

Table of Contents
Part One
On Obedience 24
The Etiquette of Waking from Sleep 26
The Etiquette of Using the Lavatory 28
The Etiquette of Ablution 30
The Etiquette of the Ritual Bath 36
The Etiquette of the Dry Ablution 38
The Etiquette of Setting Out for the Mosque 38
The Etiquette of Staying in the Mosque until Sunrise 40
The Etiquette of the Time from Sunrise to Midday 50
1. Seeking Useful Knowledge 52
2. Worship 54
3. Good Works 54
4. Earning a Living and Protecting Religion 54
The Etiquette of Preparation for the Other Prayers 58
The Etiquette of Sleep 64
The Method and Etiquette of Ritual Prayer 68
The Etiquette of Leading and Following in the Prayer 76
The Etiquette of Friday 80
The Etiquette of Fasting 84

Part 2
On Refraining from Disobedience 90
The Sins Committ ed with the Limbs 90
The Eyes 92
The Ears 92
The Tongue 92
1. Lying 94
2. Breaking a Promise 94
3. Backbiting 96
4. Disputation, Argumentation, and Competitive Debate 98
5. Ascribing Goodness to Oneself 100
6. Cursing 100
7. Supplication against Creation 102
8. Jesting, Ridiculing, and Making Fun of People 102
The Stomach 104
The Private Parts 106
The Hands 106
The Feet 106
The Sins of the Heart 112
Envy 112
Ostentation 114
Conceit, Arrogance, and Pride 116

Part 3
The Etiquette of Companionship with the
Creator and with Creation 128
The Etiquette with Allah Most High 128
The Etiquette of the Scholar 130
The Etiquette of the Student 132
The Etiquette of the Child with Parents 132
People You Do Not Know 134
Friends and Brothers 134
1. Intellect 134
2. Good Character 136
3. Uprightness 136
4. Absence of Greed 138
5. Honesty 138
The Etiquette of Friendship 142
Acquaintances 142
Appendix: Transliteration 155
Notes 163
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (Biography) 171